Manama now more affordable for foreign workers: Mercer report | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Manama now more affordable for foreign workers: Mercer report

TDT | Manama

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain’s capital city Manama has become much more affordable for international employees to live in despite the economic repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, says the latest Mercer Cost of living City report. In 2020, Manama was 52nd compared to the cost of living of 206 cities around the globe.

Come 2021, and things had changed a lot. The city is now ranked 71st on the same index, or 19 points below the previous ranking.

“Cost of living has always been a factor for international mobility planning, but the pandemic has added a whole new layer of complexity, as well as long-term implications related to health and safety of employees, remote working and flexibility policies, among other considerations,” said Ilya Bonic, Career President and Head of Mercer Strategy.

“As organisations rethink their talent and mobility strategies, accurate and transparent data is essential to compensate employees fairly for all types of assignments.”

On top of the list is the notoriously expensive Ashgabat of Turkmenistan, and closely following is Hong Kong at the number 2 spot. At the lowest end of the ranking is Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan.

Riyadh expensive, Jeddah

cheaper The list also covers several cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations. Riyadh, which lies 471 kilometres away from Bahrain, is ranked more expensive than Manama by Mercer. Riyadh had climbed two spots from the previous rank of 31 to reach the 29th spot this year.

While Jeddah, which is at a distance of 1,414.2 km from Manama, is cheaper to live in than Manama.

Jeddah, on the Mercer report, is now ranked 94th. However, in the prior year, the city was further affordable at 104th rank.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi

Mercer also has two UAE cities, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, on its cost of living index. Obviously, both the cities are expensive when compared to Manama.

However, both of them had become much more affordable than a year ago. Mercer attributes this to UAE’s continued economic diversification policies, pushing its GDP away from the oil industry.

With this ongoing process, there has been negative price movement in both cities. Dubai is at 42nd rank, Abu Dhabi also making it above Manama at 56th rank.

Kuwait city

 The ranking has only one city from Kuwait on it, which is Kuwait City, the capital.

And it is rated less expensive to live than Manama at the 115th slot.

The prior year, Kuwait City held the 113th rank.

Other cities on the Mercer Cost of living City are Muscut of Oman at 108th rank (previously 96), Doha of Qatar at 130 (109).

Beirut costliest city in the Middle East?

Mercer says Beirut is the costliest city in the Middle East for international employees, jumping 42 positions to third in the ranking.

N’Djamena (13), Lagos (19) and Libreville (20) are the first, second and third costliest cities in Africa for international employees. Lusaka ranked 208 as the least expensive city in Africa.

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Ashgabat is super expensive!

The ranking found Ashgabat the most expensive city for international employees, pushing Hong Kong to second place.

Beirut ranked third, climbing 42 positions up, owing to a severe and extensive economic depression, COVID-19 and the Port of Beirut explosion in 2020.

Tokyo and Zurich each dropped one spot from third and fourth respectively to fourth and fifth positions, and Shanghai ranked sixth, up a place from last year.

Singapore moved from fifth place to seventh. Other cities appearing in the top 10 cities for international employees are Geneva (8), Beijing (9), and Bern (10).

The least expensive cities for international employees are Tbilisi (207), Lusaka (208), and Bishkek.

US cities drop

US cities fell in this year’s ranking mostly because of currency fluctuations, and despite rising inflation, according to Mercer.

New York dropped eight spots but was the most expensive in the country at number 14.

Two other Chinese cities are among the most expensive in the world for expatriates: Shanghai climbed one spot to number six while Beijing rose to ninth.

From India, Mumbai is at 78th rank (down 18 points from 60 a year ago), New Delhi at 117 (101), Chennai at 158 (143), Bengaluru at 170 (171) and Kolkata at 181st rank (earlier 185).

 

article-image

Ashgabat is super expensive!

The ranking found Ashgabat the most expensive city for international employees, pushing Hong Kong to second place.

Beirut ranked third, climbing 42 positions up, owing to a severe and extensive economic depression, COVID-19 and the Port of Beirut explosion in 2020.

Tokyo and Zurich each dropped one spot from third and fourth respectively to fourth and fifth positions, and Shanghai ranked sixth, up a place from last year.

Singapore moved from fifth place to seventh. Other cities appearing in the top 10 cities for international employees are Geneva (8), Beijing (9), and Bern (10).

The least expensive cities for international employees are Tbilisi (207), Lusaka (208), and Bishkek.

US cities drop

US cities fell in this year’s ranking mostly because of currency fluctuations, and despite rising inflation, according to Mercer.

New York dropped eight spots but was the most expensive in the country at number 14.

Two other Chinese cities are among the most expensive in the world for expatriates: Shanghai climbed one spot to number six while Beijing rose to ninth.

From India, Mumbai is at 78th rank (down 18 points from 60 a year ago), New Delhi at 117 (101), Chennai at 158 (143), Bengaluru at 170 (171) and Kolkata at 181st rank (earlier 185).